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_Design as Scientific Thinking

_Systems of Communication and Control



This seminar program sets out the main structure of the History and Theory course, allowing students to engage the rich architectural and theoretical history of urban design. The year will start with a series of survey lectures, tracing the main debates and problems that have informed the development of the discipline along the years.

The central structure of the course is conceived as a space of encounter and debate between the two UD strands - UD1 and UD2. To maximise the productivity of this engagement, this structure has been conceived as an opportunity to think two traditions of thought that we could frame under the title of problematiques and axiomatics. Whereas problematiques focuses on the genesis of problems, axiomatics focuses on their formalization. Its important to notice how these are not traditions that one would ascribe to UD1 or UD2: more than that, these are traditions that inform historical debates around ideas of autonomy, or the mathematical debates between calculus and set theory. To better construct this common ground, we have decided to focus on a subject of research that is central to the history of the Bartlett: the history of cybernetics and the different strands of research it has informed in various fields of expertise (biology, psychology, environmental sciences, military, architecture, etc) in order to provide a an entry point to these debates, and one that allows both UD1 and UD2 to identify areas of commonality and radical difference between their approaches.

This central structure will be complemented by a series of lectures stream specific lectures each week, allowing an in depth articulation of history and theory with the singular research being developed in the studios.

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